The global demand for livestock by-products is constantly on the rise. This has led to the development of a thriving agricultural industry. An increased number of farmers are practising cattle rearing as a means to reap the benefits, usually in form of monetary value. However, with increased demand for animal products also comes the demand for livestock feed. As a result, feed prices are high; in most cases even beyond the financial capacity of most farmers. The costs of feed is currently at approximately 60% and is expected to increase yearly. It therefore becomes difficult for farmers to maintain quality feed throughout the production cycle.. To counter this problem, unconventional feed options such as blueberries are being used by a number of farmers to feed cows. Note that prior to introducing new feed stuff, it is important to find out whether cows can eat blackberries without any health effects.
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Blueberries Nutritional Value
Over the last decades an enormous amount of research has been done into the ways in which livestock can be provided with highly nutritious feed alternatives. Results reveal that cows can eat blueberries without experiencing adverse effects on health. Blueberries are highly famed for their superior nutritional value which allows for improved milk production, growth and health maintenance. Blueberries are high in carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins. They also contain dietary fibre and are palatable to livestock hence can be readily consumed. Blueberries are a rich source of vitamins with highest values found in vitamin K and C. Minerals include manganese and trace elements are: copper, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and calcium. In addition, they contain flavonoids which are known for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capabilities. As highly recommended by experts, cows can feed on blueberries in order to acquire nutrients and minerals that are often lacking in their daily rations. As stated, blueberries are an excellent source of nutrients, valued mostly in times when the forage is low. However, although cows can eat blueberries, they should be provided only as part of animal feed. It is not recommended to replace normal diets with convectional feed as it often fails to solely meet livestock dietary needs. Also, care should be practised when providing feed to animals because excess is said be harmful to health.
Blueberries for Physical Development
Feed management has a great influence on the physical development of livestock. In order for cows to reach full potential in terms of growth, good quality feed should be availed at all times. Cows can eat blackberries because they are a rich source of nutrients required for growth, reproduction and production. Blackberries contain trace elements that play an important role in ensuring long term growth and development. Trace elements are also useful in teeth formation, energy metabolism, bone formation and enzyme aviation. The nutrients found in blackberries are noted for their ability to give the immune system a boost hence protecting animals from diseases as well as oxidative stress. Carbohydrates are mainly used to provide the energy covering the daily needs of cattle. Nutrients deficiencies are known to cause poor growth, skeletal abnormalities, mastitis, stiff joints and poor appetites among numerous other consequences. As a means to prevent these effects, note that feed additives and supplementary feeds are of the essence.
Blueberries for Dairy Cows
Lactating cows require a sufficient well balanced feed in all stages of production. However, the availability of a superior quality feed is needed most during the first 100 days of lactation. Inadequate feed at this time can negatively impact productivity. Since cows withdraw from body reserves, poor quality or insufficient feed may lead to the exhaustion of body reserves. Inevitably, they lose the ability to maintain quality milk production. Therefore, cows can feed on blueberries which provides them with nutrients needed for milk production. Blueberries contain carbohydrates that are important for lactating cows. It provides them with energy needed for milk production. Studies indicate that cows lacking in energy giving feed have difficulties in carrying out daily bodily functions. Milk production requires a lot of energy as so cannot be sustained by poor diets. Feed lacking in energy causes a decline in milk yield and that which has excess energy leads to milk fever and ketosis. Also, cows can eat blueberries to acquire a good supply of glucose due to the demands of milk synthesis for glucose. Farmers are therefore advised to provide dairy cows with blueberry ensiled with complementary feed.
Blueberries as Antioxidant Agents
Lipid oxidation is a popular problem in cattle rearing. It has a negative effect on the health of animals thus affecting the quality of the meat, including its texture as well as taste. Consequentially, the produce is of poor quality thus commands a lesser market value. To counter this problem, antibiotics are usually used. However, they have been banned in a number of countries and so farmers are actively seeking for natural means of preventing lipid oxidation. Blueberries are popular for their antioxidant abilities. They belong to the family of polyphenols antioxidants known as flavonoids. These work by scavenging free radicals and disrupting oxidative reactions. As such, cows can eat blueberries so as to protect themselves from oxidative stress. In fact, they are said to have the highest capacity of antioxidant of all popular fruits and vegetables. For this reason, they are highly recommended as part of livestock dietary plans.
Blueberries for Health Maintenance
Cows can feed on blueberries for health sustenance purposes. Blueberries are rich in nutrients and minerals that play an important role in health maintenance. They contain dietary fibre which is an important part of a healthy diet and has protective effects against diseases. To add on, blueberries consist of vitamins that offer animals a boost in their immune system. As a result, they are provided with some form of protection against diseases and infection. Furthermore, cows can eat blueberries in order to absorb trace minerals that are of the essence in long term health sustenance. Trace minerals allow for enzyme activation, osmotic pressure and acid-base balance as well as immune system functions. They are also important for blood synthesis, vitamin synthesis and reproduction. Despite these numerous benefits, cows can feed on blueberries provided relevant supplementary feed are given. It is also recommended to strictly adhere to the suggested rations as excess feed can be detrimental to animal health.